Sonja and Major General John W. McEnery, FORSCOM DCSOPS, pin on my new major's
insignia at Ft McPherson, GA, 18 June 1979. When the "pinning" was done, General McEnery
said that it was customary for a kiss to be exchanged. Sonja looked at each of us, and asked,
Johnston Atoll ... my final "short" tour. Spent a year there in '85/'86. The main island
is one-half mile wide and two and one-half miles long. Nearest civilization was
Hawaii ... more than 700 miles away. Who said "Fun flies when you're doing time?"
Actually, it was quite an enjoyable tour ... good folks, good food, often challenging
work, and plenty of recreation. I always felt that if anyone was bored at J.I., it was
their own fault!
This photo of the staff was taken on January 1, 1986 at the Commander's New Year's
Reception. Most of the names have already slipped my memory. The Commander, Col
Orton, is standing 4th from the left. Yours truly is to his immediate right. Center, kneeling, is
Major (now Major General) John Doesburg, Executive Officer.
This is part of one row of igloos filled with assorted chemical munitions.
Our guys worked hard to maintain these things until a new incinerator was
built for their ultimate destruction.
|A stack of one-ton containers of VX -- nasty stuff!
One project that kept our folks busy for a while involved removing an unstable lot of
propellant from thousands of rounds of 105mm ammo with mustard-filled projectiles.
Once the propellant was removed, it was taken to the leeward end of the island, and
burned. It was a short-lived, but spectacular sight!
This is a photo of a Russian vessel just outside the three-mile limit. These
guys were fairly frequent visitors, but every time an aircraft came close,
hatches were closed, and people disappeared. They couldn't hide the array
of antennae, though.
What can I say? It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!
We saw some of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen. What a treat!
|A few post-Vietnam shots:
Ft. McPherson, GA
Johnston Atoll, Pacific
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